August 04, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

Set out at 4 A.M. this morning.  permited Willard and Sergt. Ordway to exchange with the Feildses and take their small canoe to hunt today.  at 1/2 after eleven O'Ck. passed the entrance of big dry river; [Today's Big Dry Creek.] found the water in this river about 60 yds. wide tho' shallow.  it runs with a boald even currant.  at 3 P.M. we arrived at the entrance of Milk river [The junction of Milk River and the Missouri River. See May 8, 1805.] where we halted a few minutes.  this stream is full at present and it's water is much the colour of that of the Missouri; it affords as much water at present as Maria's river and I have no doubt extends itself to a considerable distance North.  during our halt we killed a very large rattlesnake of the speceis common to our country. [Possibly the Prairie Rattlesnake, Crotalus viridus viridus.]   it had 176 scuta on the abdomen and 25 on the tail, it's length 5 feet.  the scutae on the tail fully formed.  after passing this river we saw several large herds of buffaloe and Elk    we killed one of each of these animals and took as much of the flesh as we wished.  we encamped this evening two miles below the gulph on the N.E. side of the river. [Approximately two miles above the camp of May 7, 1805.]  Tonight for the first time this season I heard the small whippoorwill or goatsucker of the Missouri cry. [Common Poorwill, Phalaenoptilus nuttallii.]    Colter and Collins have not yet overtaken us.  Ordway and Willard delayed so much time in hunting today that they did not overtake us untill about midnight.   they killed one bear and 2 deer.  in passing a bend just below the gulph it being dark they were drawn by the currant in among a parsel of sawyers [A submerged tree partially exposed.], under one of which the canoe was driven and throwed Willard who was steering overboard;  he caught the sawyer and held by it;   Ordway with the canoe drifted down about half a mile among the sawyers under a falling bank, the canoe struck frequently but did not overset; he at length gained the shore and returned by land to learn the fate of Willard whom he found was yet on the sawyer; it was impossible for him to take the canoe to his relief.  Willard at length tied a couple of sticks together which had lodged against the sawyers on which he was and set himself adrift among the sawyers which he fortunately escaped and was taken up about a mile below by Ordway with the canoe; they sustained no loss on this occasion.  it was fortunate for Willard that he could swim tolerably well.--

August 04, 1806
John Ordway

two of the hunters Colter and Collins did not join us last night.  I and willard went on eairly with a Small canoe to hunt    we procd. on Some distance and hunted in Some of the bottoms and killed a deer and procd. on    towards evening we killed a large white or grizzly bear nearly of a Silver Grey.   we then procd. on in the evening by moon light as the party was a head     about 11 oClock at night we found ourselves in a thick place of Sawyers [Submerged trees with one end stuck in the mud, the other bobbing up and down in the current with a sawing motion.] as the corrent drawed us in and we had no chance to git out of them So we run about half way through and the Stern run under a limb of a tree and caught willard who was in the Stern and drew him out as the current was verry rapid.   he held by the limb    I being in the bow of the canoe took my oar and halled the bow first one way and the other So as to clear the Sawyers and run through Safe and paddled the canoe to Shore and ran up the Shore opposite willard & he called to me if everry thing was Safe I told him yes but he could not hear me as the water roared past the Sawyers.   he told me he had made a little raft of 2 Small Sticks he caught floating and tyed them together, and tyed his cloathes on them and would Swim down through this difficult place and I run down and took out the canoe and took him in as he Swam through Safe   we procd. a Short distance farther and came to the Camp of the party. [About two miles aboved the camp of May 7, 1805.]   they had killed a rattle Snake [Prairie Rattlesnake.] and an Elk to day but the two hunters Colter & Colling has not joined us yet.--

August 04, 1806
Patrick Gass

This was another pleasant day and we proceeded on early.  One of the small canoes with two hunters [Colter and Collins.] did not come up last night.   We left another small canoe with some hunters behind [Ordway and Willard. See Ordway's entry for this day.] and proceeded on.  We went very rapidly, and in our way killed a buffaloe, and elk and some deer.  At five o'clock we passed the mouth of Milk river, which was very high and the current strong.  Having proceeded 88 miles we encamped for the night.

August 04, 1806
William Clark

Musquetors excessively troublesom So much So that the men complained that they could not work at their Skins for those troublesom insects.  and I find it entirely impossible to hunt in the bottoms, those insects being So noumerous and tormenting as to render it imposseable for a man to continue in the timbered lands and our best retreat from those insects is on the Sand bars in the river and even those Situations are only clear of them when the Wind Should happen to blow which it did to day for a fiew hours in the middle of the day.  the evenings nights and mornings they are almost [un]indureable perticularly by the party with me who have no Bears [biers] to keep them off at night, and nothing to Screen them but their blankets which are worn and have maney holes. The torments of those Missquetors and the want of a Sufficety of Buffalow meat to dry, those animals not to be found in this neighbourhood induce me to deturmine to proceed on to a more eliagiable Spot on the Missouri below at which place the Musquetors will be less troublesom and Buffalow more plenty.  [(]I will here obseve that Elk is Abundant but their flesh & fat is hard to dry in the Sun, and when dry is much easir<ly> Spoiled than either the Buffalow or Deer)  I ordered the Canoes to be reloaded with our baggage & dryed meat which had been Saved on the Rochejhone together with the Elk killed at this place.  wrote a note to Capt Lewis informing him of my intentions and tied it to a pole which I had Stuck up in the point. At 5 P.M Set out and proceeded on down to the 2d point which appeared to be an elegable Situation for my purpose  killed a porcupine [Yellow-haired Porcupine, Erthizon dorsatum epixanthum.] on this point the Musquetors were So abundant that we were tormented much worst than at the point.  The Child of Shabono has been So much bitten by the Musquetor that his face is much puffed up & Swelled.  I encamped on this extensive Sand bar which is on the N W. Side.